“Fashion is about dressing according to what's fashionable. Style is more about being yourself.”
~ Oscar de la Renta
Clothing is an extremely powerful tool and when executed well, can positively affect our attitude, confidence and image. Dressing appropriately can help you get along better with people, give a fabulous first impression and help you feel confident about what you're wearing. Looking stylish is more than just buying expensive clothing or wearing the latest trends, it is about having an educated style and feeling comfortable in your chosen outfit regardless of the occasion.
How we dress is directly related to how we feel. When we are not appropriately dressed for any occasion or are wearing ill-fitting clothing, we feel self-conscious and somewhat inferior. On the other hand, when we feel good in what we are wearing, we are more likely to feel good on the inside, have more energy and feel more confident and sophisticated.
Here are 5 expert tips to help you look stylish for any occasion:
BE YOUR OWN EDUCATED STYLIST
Being your own educated stylist means understanding your personal values, your body shape, colouring and personal style. It also means understanding the concept of colour and knowing how to creatively dress for any occasion by mixing and matching various items of clothing and accessories. Becoming your own educated stylist will help you make better decisions about what you buy, how you manage your wardrobe and how you pick and create outfits for different occasions, thereby enhancing your style and image. Reading a book, taking a short course or hiring a professional Personal Stylist can help you become your own educated stylist and make the most of your style and wardrobe.
DON’T FOCUS ON FASHION TRENDS
I completely understand why certain people follow fashion trends religiously. We are drawn to the new and novel. We want to belong – to be part of something recognisable – and there is no more obvious way to demonstrate this than through your clothes. A new outfit that fits with what magazines and advertisements are promoting can be really pleasurable to buy and wear. The flip side of these desires is anxiety – about not fitting in, not being up-to-date, and being an outsider.
In my opinion, fashion trends should be looked at as a source inspiration from which we can draw our own ideas about style. We should be able to draw on our own personal style to pick out what is relevant to us out of the available fashion choices. If we make the decision to buy only what flatters us and works with our lifestyle, we are not allowing fashion to dictate our wardrobes-and consequently our lives. We are empowering ourselves to be in control of what we wear and how we wear it. This is the definition of real style.
KEEP YOUR WARDROBE CLUTTER FREE
Your wardrobe is not just a place where your clothing is hung and stored. It is a place where you are creating yourself and your life. Hanging on to clothing and accessories that is not serving your current lifestyle; Clothing you no longer fit into, clothing that you have not worn for many years or clothing you don’t love creates unnecessary clutter which detracts from some of your most exciting, wearable and functional pieces in your wardrobe. Clutter will make you feel out of control, helpless and can sometimes cause stress, which can easily transfer into other areas of your life. Keeping your wardrobe clutter free gives you control of your wardrobe and consequently-your life.
UNDERSTAND YOUR AUDIENCE
You will come into contact with all sorts of people in your personal and professional life, which could include your work colleagues or clients/customers in a business setting, or friends and acquaintances in a social setting. You will naturally play different roles when interacting with these people. For example you will play the role of an expert when dealing with a client and the role of a down-to-earth, friendly individual when dealing with acquaintances. People want to interact with people they feel more comfortable with. People also have certain expectations of what kind of image someone in a particular role should portray. Having an idea of what is expected in any particular role and dressing to suit that role will make you feel more comfortable and confident within yourself as well as add more credibility to your skills.
KNOW WHAT YOU WANT YOUR IMAGE TO SAY
According to Neuroscience research, we can make 11 quick decisions about someone within 7 seconds of meeting them; all based on the way they choose to present themselves. Therefore, portraying the right image; especially in a professional setting can have an impact on who chooses to do business with you. Why not use your image as a marketing tool and combine this with your expertise to make the most out of your professional interactions? Think about what personality traits, strengths and values you want to portray through your image, without having to say a word and then dress accordingly. Our confidence is also most certainly enhanced when we know that we are dressed appropriately for any occasion and that our choice of outfit reflects a small part of who we are.
Remember: Looking stylish or style confidence is all about being in control of how you feel and how you present yourself, ensuring that what you wear reflects your personality, lifestyle and unique talents. When your style is at its best, your time and energy can be directed in other important areas of your life.
Your Personal Stylist,